WHY LEARN SIGN LANGUAGE?
All babies can benefit from learning baby sign - not only those who are D/deaf and/or have additional needs.
Once you've seen all the reasons to sign, have a look at our First Steps page to get started!
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF BABY SIGN LANGUAGE?
*Can lead to less tears and tantrums as baby can communicate needs.
*Can assist language development.
*Can make them better communicators in the long run.
*A new way of bonding and having fun with your baby.
*Can help children growing up in bi-lingual households as these very lucky children often take a little longer to say their first words - they can sign whilst they are working the languages out for themselves!
* British Sign Language (BSL) is a recognised language - if you continue to encourage your child to learn BSL even after they are chatting away, they would be bi-lingual!
*We all want a kinder and more inclusive society, it could be a way of teaching your child about a range of disabilities and communication needs. If one day it helps them to talk to someone who uses sign as their main communication method, then that is pretty amazing.
WON'T USING SIGNS DELAY SPEECH DEVELOPMENT?
No, not at all. In fact, the opposite is true as many baby signers are early talkers - as long as you are using speech and sign alongside each other.
CAN BABIES REALLY SIGN?
Think about how a baby starts to communicate and you will picture them pointing or waving "bye-bye", or asking to be picked up by raising his arms. This is effectively baby sign, and you can learn to add some more gestures to this mix such as 'milk', 'more', 'daddy' and 'mummy'.
Babies can learn to sign their needs before they can verbalise them. Babies are very good at picking up gestures and this skill develops much faster than their ability to learn speech.
It's never too late or too early to learn some signs.
OKAY, YOU’RE TELLING ME ALL THIS BUT ARE THERE ANY FACTS TO BACK UP YOUR CLAIMS?
Various studies have been carried out looking at the merits of baby sign.
*Dr Joseph Garcia is the pioneer of Baby Sign Language for hearing children. Having worked with more than 5,000 babies Garcia’s research has found that baby sign language accelerated a baby’s language development, reduced frustration and tantrums, fuelled intellectual development and strengthened the bond between parents and baby.
*An American team led by Linda Acredolo and Susan Goodwyn (2000) found that those taught to sign reap rewards such as larger expressive and receptive spoken language vocabularies, advanced cognitive development, reduced problematic behaviours like tantrums resulting from frustration.
Not bad, eh? There are more studies but I don't want to bore you!